Many mothers of big families are at a loss for words when strangers make personal comments about their family size. Other women are able to use their conspicuous presence in public as a chance to witness to the joy of this lifestyle. Still others see it as an opportunity to ditch one or two of the slower kids in the crowd.
No matter which description fits you, there will come a day when you are urging an unruly string of children down the narrow hall of the hospital, where you are late for an appointment to have the blood of several of them painfully tested for something you know perfectly well they don’t have. Some of them will be licking the walls, one will be wailing about losing her vending machine puppy in the parking lot, and two will merely be going silently boneless.
It is at moments like these when some sweaty bozo in an AC/DC T-shirt will appear, plaster himself comically to the wall to let you pass, and remark, “Haw haw haw, looks like someone don’t have a TV!”
So the following guide is for you, mom. If one of your damn wiener kids hasn’t shoved a fig newton into the printer, feel free to make a copy, laminate it, and keep it in your ludicrously enormous purse. It will help you respond to people who see your presence as a challenge, when really all you want to do is mail a letter, buy some diapers and few pregnancy tests, or pay the librarian for the books you ruined this week, and go home.
7 Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions About Your Big Family
Boy, you’ve got your hands full, don’t you?
Congratulations! As the ten billionth person to make this clever remark, you are a winner! As your prize, please accept this delicious baby.
Don’t you know what causes that?
Yes, it’s brought on by being in the presence of morons. Every time I leave the house, I feel the urge to rush home to my husband and, for the sake of future generations, try to outnumber people like you. Whoopee!
Are those all your kids?
Quiet, you fool, my husband’s listening!
How many kids do you have, anyway?
I dunno. [I don't know if it qualifies as snappy, but it's often true, and it shuts people up.]
You’re stopping now, right?
Of course! Lots of people have eight kids. Eight kids is nothing. Of course, our van is longer than most people’s driveways. We own two milch cows just to supplement breakfast. And with the money from our Additional Child Tax Credit, we bought a Learjet. That’s life with eight kids.
But to consider having nine kids? That would be cuh-razy.
[This next one is for kids who are members of big families. It's a direct quote from lunch recess at Disnard Elementary School, and partially explains why no one liked me in sixth grade.]
Hey, huh huh huh, you have seven brothers and sisters? Boy, huh huh huh, your parents must really like to dooo it!
Yeah, boy, I guess that proves they had sex eight times. And you’re an only child, so I guess your parents just don’t love each other very much. Ha ha! Now, who wants to be my lunch buddy?
Don’t you have a TV?
If you think TV is better than sex, then you are doing it wrong.
So long until Monday, folks! Don’t forget to check out Conversion Diary for links to everyone else’s Seven Quick Takes. And don’t forget the most basic rule of appearing in public with lots of children: it’s everyone else’s job to get out of your way.